This review gives more insight than just "it was/wasn't a good book" or "this is/isn't a must read". While I try not to give too much away, sometimes it's difficult to write about the story and have it not be revealing.
Zane Carson was a war correspondent for a Chicago magazine. To ease back into the job after being shot he headed to an unfamiliar country - Amish country. He planned on having one of his easiest assignments ever. He'd stay with a host family and write about his experiences while living among the Amish. But being attracted to Katie Rose Fisher was not part of his plan.
Katie Rose believed that it was her calling to be single and teach the children in her Amish community. She was once in love with Samuel Beachy until he left to become English. After spending some time with Zane, Katie had to fight her feelings for yet another Englisher.
I was wondering why an Englisher would be welcome in the Fisher home. There are at least two reasons. Katie's dad agreed to have Zane live with his family to raise money for his wife Ruth's cancer treatments. It was easy to see he truly loved his wife. He was hoping the exposure would bring people and their money to their community. I liked Ruth and I couldn't wait to discover if she was cancer free or not. It was sad to read about Ruth and her having to deal with the effects of surgery and chemotherapy to get rid of the cancer. Another reason is Englisher-soon-to-be-Amish Annie Hamilton. Annie is a minor character in this story. She was introduced in the first book in the Clover Ridge Novels, Saving Gideon. Now that I've read Katie's Choice and about her and Gideon's meeting I want to read their story in Saving Gideon.
Zane lived on a cooperative as a child. The members of that community were not much different from the Amish - except there was no mention of God. They both lived off the land. So it wasn't hard to see how Zane easily worked on the Fisher farm.
Zane was raised by agnostic parents. His world was turned upside down by the way the Fisher's lived out their faith. It was obvious the family loved God. Katie Rose lived for God. She saw Him in everything. I like how Zane discovered God in a way that wasn't pushed down his throat because that would have never worked for him.
In this heartwarming Amish tale, author Amy Lillard takes us on a special journey -- where two people from very different worlds find new hope, faith, and healing for their broken lives.
Zane Carson, a war correspondent, has received a strange assignment and certainly not the one he was hoping for. Having his heart set on going to Juarez, Mexico to cover the war on drugs, he receives the news that he is to travel to the Amish country of Oklahoma instead. Before he leaves he asks his beautiful girlfriend, Monica, to marry him when he gets back from his three month assignment there.
Katie Rose has given up on her dream of being an Amish wife and mother of a houseful of children. After the love of her life, Samuel Beachy, leaves the Amish and joins the Englisch world six years prior, a heartbroken Katie Rose feels it is God's call on her life to take care of her widowed brother's children and teach school. Neither Katie nor Zane can stop the undeniable attraction between them, but both know nothing can become of it. Zane is "almost" engaged and Katie is Amish and never the twain shall meet. Especially when Samuel Beachy returns to the community wanting Katie back and Monica says "yes"...
This is my first novel by Amy Lillard, but certainly not my last. She covers some tough topics such as breast cancer, PTSD, and Down syndrome with finesse, and I found myself alternating between tears and laughter at the trials and antics of the main and secondary characters. Yes, the conclusion was predictable as I have read so many Amish books, but the journey there was superb!
A copy of this book was provided by Net Galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
I started reading this book when I realized there was one before it, and that I had the first in the series already. So I put Katie's Choice down and read Saving Gideon first. I'm so glad I did. While Katie's Choice can be a stand alone I think that I enjoyed it much more after already being introduced and loving the original characters. That said, there are really great scenes that I loved; though there are also lulls in the story. It didn't completely capture me at times when at others I couldn't put it down! The over all message and story is interesting and unique. I love how Amy gives you a character that you don't like and don't want to like in the beginning and then does something that makes you love them like the rest. Katie's Choice is wonderful for the reader that has just started reading Amish stories. You will learn along with Zane about their ways and customs, but it is also great for those that have read about the Amish regularly (though at times I personally got frustrated with Zane in his first views of the Amish). :) Amy captures how The Lord will provide and how resourceful the people that trust in Him can come to be! :) A journey of change and finding Salvation and faith lies with in these pages! :) From the cost of fighting cancer to the love and loyalty of family! Katie's Choice is an all around great read! :) Plus there are some great humorous scenes! :D I can't wait for the rest of the characters stories and see what Amy comes up with!
One last note that I must share is how I love that a Glossary is included! While as you read Amish fiction it becomes easy to know what they say without the help of a glossary it is still very considerate when it is included! :) The only question I would have for Amy is..."Where are the recipes?!?!?!?" ;) LOL!
My song choices: "The Love of God" by Dave Hunt, "Little Drummer Boy" Faith Hill,
and while I know I used this one for Saving Gideon as well; I must use it again for Katie's choice. On so many levels it works! :) (This time I'll use Dave's version :) ) "God Gave Me You" by Dave Barnes
I have quickly become a fan of Amy Lillard. After reading her first book Saving Gideon, I couldn't wait to read Katie's Choice.
Katie Rose Fisher is a woman who has accepted her calling from God. That calling is to help care for her brother's children and to be the schoolteacher in her district. She is obedient to this call because of her love for children. She has resigned herself to a life without a husband and children of her own. This is what God wishes for her isn't it? She had one love in her life, Samuel Beachy. When Samuel left the Amish district and Katie for the English world, Katie was crushed.
Zane Carson, a war correspondent for Around the World magazine, was recovering from a bullet wound to his shoulder when he received a call from Jo, senior editor of the magazine. Zane was hoping to hear he was being sent to Juarez, Mexico to cover an assignment on the war on drugs. A very dangerous assignment Zane knew but he wanted the excitement of the job. Instead Jo wanted him to spend three months in Oklahoma Amish country. Surely, she was joking! She promised Zane that if he took this assignment she would make sure he got the Juarez assignment.
Katie being Amish and Zane from the English world both knew that what they felt could never be acted on. Katie had a close relationship with God. Zane wanted nothing to do with God. Surely there could never be any kind of relationship between the two. Zane was looking forward to leaving in 3 months after this assignment was done. Wasn't he?
The author not only brought two worlds together, she made it seem like a natural thing to do. There were moments of laugh out loud humor, moments of struggling with an illness, moments of seeing family and community working together and definitely moments of doing some soul searching. We see love, faith, and trust all coming together. Choices had to be made.
This book is very deserving of 5 stars. I urge you to pick up a copy. You will not be disappointed. I can't wait to read author Amy Lillard's next book!
This is book two in the series and it again deals with an English person coming into the Amish community and dealing with how that can go. I found it a so so book.
What I liked: I liked both Katie and Zane. Zane needs to slow down and get a handle on his life and coming to Amish country helps him do that. Katie is still dealing with being dumped by her almost husband and when Zane starts to break through the wall she has put up around her heart she also starts to see life still has a lot to offer her yet. I also liked how we got to go a little deeper into the family and learn more about Katie's mom and her battle with cancer which we first learned about in book one.
What I did not like: Honestly this book is really not very believable. Yes I know this is fiction and it does not have to be, but after reading this genre for a few years this story-line just did not sit well with me. Giving up everything to live with the Amish would be a huge commitment and it just seems to far fetched in this book.
Over all this was an okay book. I did enjoy the story just felt the idea of Zane considering becoming Amish was to easy. But its well written and I am interesting to see where the third book will take this story and to see how Katie's mom is doing now that her cancer treatments are over.